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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I started out my search for a track snowblower for my steep driveway and I ended up with two. An Ariens Hydro Pro Track 28 and a Snowmaster 824 QXE.

I didn't need nearly as much machine as the Ariens pro, but I wanted tracks and the Ariens non-hydro top speed is half that of the hydro. Plus the hydro just seemed like it would be fun. I almost bought a Honda Hss928atd but got scared away after all the reports of clogging and shear pins breaking so often. I don't mind getting heated grips and 5 extra HP for only a little more money.

Then after buying such a big beast I realized I might want a single stage for the light snow days. But enough dealers convinced me that I would be quite unhappy pushing a traditional single stage up a steep hill. So I decided to give the Snowmaster a shot. It has powered wheels to help climb the hill, yet is light enough that I can (hopefully) help with a push if the wheels start to slip.

At first I was worried about moving the Ariens tracks around the garage, but once it's on the cart it's actually easier and more convenient than a normal machine. It's not even that hard to get on and off the cart while not running. I think it's going to be fine.

I'll report back on how they're doing for the various types of snow I get.



 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
That Ariens looks like a beast!!
It is! But to be fair it's up on a dolly which makes appear even bigger in the comparison shots. But it's still pretty beefy.

My minimal experience with auto-turn on dry pavement wasn't great. You have to put a decent amount of effort into turning it before anything happens, and then once it does turn it suddenly turns pretty quickly. Long gradual turns are not easy at all. Hopefully it'll work much more smoothly in the snow, which is what really matters.

What worked best on the pavement was to lift the bars slightly while turning. This relieved enough pressure from the tracks so that the auto-turn could detect you were trying to turn. When doing it this way it turned quite easily actually.
 

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**** that thing looks killer nice setup. Why not find a small 24" older ariens cheap, easy and match

Sent from my SM-N900P using Tapatalk
 

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Two brand new snowblowers at the same time.I've never even owned a new snowblower.I think the newest of my four is a 1988.

Matto,you are legend.
 

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you will love the Toro snowmaster. In fact Il bet you will use it more the big boy. Faster, easier to maneuver and toss-able. Ill bet you won't use the orange monster that much
 

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I have a platinum sho with track. The track are awesome, you will love it. I would love to get the pro , but it was out of my budget. Even my platinum can get through a 16" of light snow in highest speed without slowing down.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
you will love the Toro snowmaster. In fact Il bet you will use it more the big boy. Faster, easier to maneuver and toss-able. Ill bet you won't use the orange monster that much
I've been wondering whether this might happen. I bought the Ariens first, then the Snowmaster. And then I started wondering if I really needed the Ariens at all.

Too late now. I suspect 1-2 times a year I'll be a life saver. The rest of the time it'll just clog up space. :icon-doh:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have a platinum sho with track. The track are awesome, you will love it. I would love to get the pro , but it was out of my budget. Even my platinum can get through a 16" of light snow in highest speed without slowing down.
Awesome! Glad you are digging it.
 

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The track machines are slow and hard to move around the area.. Wait till you see. We have 2 at work and no ones wants to use em ..The wheeled ones are by far the favorites
 

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you will love the Toro snowmaster. In fact Il bet you will use it more the big boy. Faster, easier to maneuver and toss-able. Ill bet you won't use the orange monster that much
+1, Before buying a Snowmaster for my mother's house I almost picked up a SnoTek 2 stage but the Toro won out due to ease of movement and less moving parts to wear out (no auger gearbox and the rotor is supported on ball bearings, belts look easy to change). There are several vids on YouTube from winter storm Jonas last year that helped sell it for me.


Check the manual for checking the oil as it states not to thread in the dipstick to read but that leaves a considerable discrepancy in oil level, might have to call Toro to find out which is correct.


Personal pace works good tho I haven't gotten snow yet I took it on a short dry run and I held onto the handle and started walking and the machine went with me, Pushing on the handle will result in jerky movement from reviews I've read.


The blower reminds me of the old 1960's single stage machines with the transverse mounted engine like the old Toro Snow Hound 20.


Congrats on the machines, you'll like them plus you're ready for anything now.
 

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You will see what I mean.. When i say slow I mean to maneuvering, not necessarily ground speed. You will blow a larger area faster with the Toro then you will with the big boy
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You will see what I mean.. When i say slow I mean to maneuvering, not necessarily ground speed. You will blow a larger area faster with the Toro then you will with the big boy
I hear you. And that's why I figured they're a good pairing. I'll rarely use the ariens but when I do it'll be the right tool for the job.
 

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I would love to have a track blower again , the cool factor on the block.
 

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes the lifestyles of the rich and famous. isn't LIFE GRAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
that looks like FOUR GRAND in my neck of the woods !! am envious !
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I just used both snowblowers. It was only 3" of snow so there was no need to use the Ariens but I brought it out just for fun.

Short version: the Snowmaster is awesome. It's fast, easy to use, and throws snow pretty far! In comparison the Ariens is a huge pain in the ass.

The Ariens tracks take a lot of force to turn. A lot. It's almost as if it doesn't have auto-turn. If you raise the bucket and tip the machine forward then it turns really easily and you can feel auto-turn doing its thing. But that's a lot of hoopla for a simple turn.

Also I'm not sure how excited I am about the idea that the bucket height locks in one spot. My driveway isn't perfectly flat and has dips and undulations. It would be better for the front to naturally follow the height of the driveway. I might put a band around the bar so I can slip it over the lever to lock it in place, yet be able to unlock it when I want to raise the bucket up.

It did get up the steep driveway just fine. But so did the Snowmaster on its little wheels. Based on this one experience I'm thinking maybe I should have gone with the Toro 1080 instead of the Ariens.

One thing that the Snowmaster is not good at is going *down* steep hills. The only thing preventing it from accelerating out of control is you. You have to brake with your feet. Not good.

I'm sure the Ariens will come in handy during really big storms. But I'll be reaching for the Snowmaster first any time I can.
 
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